Paxton Music Studios
Children and Adults

 

Voice lessons - Julie - 279-5540
Learn healthy singing habits - increase breath control, range and volume

Prepare for auditions

BM in Music Ed. and vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music

MFA in vocal performance at Cal Arts.

 

 

Piano, guitar and ukulele - Tom - 309-1502

Learn to read music and play by ear

Learn scales, chords and music theory

while building a repertoire of your favorite songs

BS in Education at Ohio State University.

 



Paxton Studio Policies

 

Students can study music with Julie and/or Tom under one of three “plans:” the conventional “Regularly Scheduled Plan” the more flexible “Stand-by Plan,” or the “Waiting List Plan.”

The Regularly Scheduled Plan

The “regularly scheduled” plan is the normal scenario where students have a regularly scheduled weekly time slot for music lessons and will pay at the end of the month for all 4 (sometimes 5) weekly lessons for that month.  If students cannot make a lesson and give me 24 hour advance notice, we will look for a time for a makeup lesson. I will try to make time available on weekends and evenings for make ups and I am always willing to come to your home if that is more convenient on weekends or evenings.  (Whether it’s a make up lesson or a regularly scheduled lesson, I add an additional charge of one dollar per minute of drive time to and from your home from Cemetery Lane.)  If no times can be found within a month of the missed lesson date, the lesson will be listed on your month-end invoice as “missed” and you will be charged for the missed lesson. If 24 hour notice is not given for a missed lesson, it will also be listed on your month-end invoice as “missed”, and you will be charged for the lesson but no makeup time will be offered. Exceptions will be made in the event of last-minute illness, in which case a makeup time can be scheduled. If you know, at the last minute, that you will be missing a lesson, I would appreciate a call or a text letting me know me so that I won't be sitting in the studio waiting or driving to your house for no reason.

Exceptions to the “four lessons a month” program will be Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring vacations. 

You can cancel your “regularly scheduled” weekly time slot at any time with two weeks advance notice. At that time you may choose to discontinue lessons altogether, or go to the more flexible "stand-by plan."

The Stand-By Plan

Parents who would like more flexibility than the “regularly scheduled” plan can go  with the week-by-week “standby” approach.  At the beginning of a given week, I will contact you to let you know what time slots are available that week.  If you commit to a lesson for that week, the same agreement exists as for “regularly scheduled” lessons.  If a lesson is missed and 24 hour notice is given, we will look for a makeup time.  If 24 hour notice is not given for a missed lesson, it will be listed on your month-end invoice as “missed”, and you will be charged for the lesson but we will not look for a makeup time.

Parents on the “stand-by” plan can look beyond the current week and tentatively schedule future regular lesson times, with the understanding that if students on the “regularly scheduled” plan choose one of those times for a regular time slot or for a makeup lesson, the “stand-by” lesson would be “bumped.” If you currently have a regular time slot but want the flexibility of the “standby” plan, I encourage you to keep having lessons at that time and I will check in at the beginning of each week to see if you want to commit to that week.   If another student on the “regularly scheduled” plan wants to commit to that time slot, I will give you the option of upgrading to the “regularly scheduled” plan and keeping that lesson time, or staying with the “stand-by” plan and moving to a time slot that is open.  Remember that I am happy to do lessons at your home if that’s more convenient for later lessons.

The Waiting List Plan

If parents wish to schedule their child for lessons at a specific time, but that time is not currently available, they can be put on my waiting list.  I will contact them if the time slot opens up or becomes available due to a cancelation on a given week.

 

Practicing Guidelines 

Although quality practice depends on a student’s age and his or her objectives, there are some basic guidelines to follow. Recommended practice time is at least 10 minutes five times a week for beginners with time increasing as student's objectives increase. If your life is too busy on a given week and you could not practice, come anyway! We can always accomplish something good at each lesson.

All children need some help with discipline.  Although no one wants practicing to become a bone of contention between parent and child, parents should expect to have to remind and encourage their children to practice from time to time. It helps to occasionally give younger kids your undivided attention when they are practicing so they can show off what they have been learning. Set up informal concerts with relatives and friends so that the child has an occasion to practice for. These musical performers of the future will enjoy the attention!  As kids approach adolescence and start the process of individuation, however, parents need to be aware that teenagers are going to be a bit touchy about what they see as unnecessary parental oversight and so if they want to practice in private, their wish should be granted.  Good luck with finding a way of making sure that your teenager is actually practicing without looking like a helicopter parent! 

Think of music study is an investment. We have all felt the ability of this wonderful, nonrepresentational art form to energize us and effect our emotions in a million ways.  In addition, science has shown us that music is also a powerful brain builder by demonstrating with MRI scans that musical performance lights up more areas of the brain simultaneously than any other human endeavor. It does, however, take practice, and it sometimes feels like hard work. 

It is not unusual, therefore, for a student to want to quit when the material becomes more challenging. As music teachers, it is our job to introduce new skills gradually so that frustration is minimized and fun maximized. We also realize that kids will practice more when they are working on material that they enjoy playing. But in order to keep our students from flat lining, we need to introduce new skills that will develop their musicianship but may require determined repetition to master.

If you see that your child is beginning to resist practice because it is getting more challenging as they improve, don't hesitate to create little incentives. In other words, don't be afraid to bribe them.  It's amazing how much productivity you can get out of them with the slightest little reward.  Kids love to negotiate their incentive programs, so let the bargaining begin! I have spoken to a number of very successful people who have told me that their one regret in life was that they gave up on their musical pursuits at some point.  One guy told me that today he would gladly pay his parents $10 for every dollar that it would have taken to bribe him into continuing his piano lessons when he had more free time in his younger days. 

It is an investment in money, time and energy; but if your child shows signs of loving music and a willingness to develop his or her talent, it's an investment that will pay big dividends in enhanced brain power, self confidence, work ethic and self expression well into the future.